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Chocolate-Pecan Shortbread Crunch with a Vanilla Custard Mousse

written by Taste Safari 10th April 2014

There is no other way to describe this pudding apart from scrumptious! It’s completely uncomplicated and easily whipped up on a moment’s notice and, for me, there isn’t any more joy than pudding! Better still, homemade!

As a child, my mum made comfort puddings ALL the time. For a very long time, well before the scare of diabetes and weight control became an 80′s top of the health agenda, we had pudding, brace yourselves now…every single night! Yes, every single night. I’m surprised we weren’t obese, but, remember we were a really active bunch of kids. No daytime TV and we were always on our bikes or climbing trees until the sun finally set and we tripped in after each other in the darkness, our nanny chasing us in with a broom! Now, I’m not talking about some anaemic slices of fruit, I’m talking about big wholesome baked and creamed, fluffed and whipped, dripping with syrups and dusted with fairy dust like icing sugar. We were spoilt, rotten! I still remember rushing in from school and mum would have a pile of pavlova from the night before ready on the table, just as a treat before homework. What a mum, seriously…

So this recipe and the method will sound so familiar to so many of my generation whose mothers were practicing ‘English Style’ desserts as they were called then. There was a Mrs Beaton in every household and these women cooked up a storm! It is definitely a bit of a cheats version, so forgive me you thoroughbreds out there, sometimes a girl just needs to have a bit of fun!

Ingredients and Method

For the Shortbread-Pecan chocolate Crunch:

  • 1 pack of good quality shortbread biscuits
  • 1/2 cup of pecan nuts
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of espresso powder or 1/2 tsp instant coffee ( mixed in with the melted butter)
  • 1 tbs of rum (optional)

For the Vanilla-Custard Mousse:

  • 3/4 cup of homemade custard, cooled
  • 1 cup of double cream, whipped until firm
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
  • 2 egg whites, whisked until firm

Optional Filling:

  • 2 baby bananas, thinly sliced

For the Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs sweetened condensed milk

First Prepare the Crunch:

Place all the biscuits and the pecans into a plastic bag and with a rolling pin, bash away! Now, you don’t want a fine powder but a crumble, and it doesn’t matter if some pieces are bigger than the others.

Now tip this into a bowl and add the rest of the crunch ingredients, mixing well. Make sure all the ingredients are distributed evenly. Set aside.

Prepare the Vanilla Custard Mousse:

Fold the custard, the double cream, the egg whites and the vanilla bean paste together gently. Set aside in the fridge.

For the chocolate topping, melt all the ingredients together over a low heat until you reach a shiny sauce consistency.

Now start to layer the pudding. I like to serve these in little individual glass dishes. First add the crumble layer, distributing evenly. ( leave a little to finish sprinkling on top of the pudding) Now a layer of banana and a generous layer of the Vanilla-Custard Mousse. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining crunch over the mousse and drizzle with the chocolate sauce.

 

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